Three retired Indian armed forces personnel—Major General SG Vombatkere, Colonel PK Nair, and Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury—have filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the Haridwar hate speech conclave organised by Yati Narsinghanand.
“The petitioners are specially concerned that such incidents, if go unchecked, can have a serious impact on the morale and integration of the soldiers in armed forces who come from diverse communities and religions. From their personal experience, it is felt that such hate speeches can even effect the battle efficiency of our Armed Forces and in turn compromise national security,” said the petition.
Earlier, five former chiefs of the armed forces and a number of other prominent citizens including bureaucrats wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the hate speeches and urged them to take appropriate measures.
It is to be noted that a three-day ‘Dharam Sansad’ was organised in Haridwar on December 17-19, where extremely provocative speeches inciting violence against Muslims were made by participants.
The event held at Ved Niketan Dham in Haridwar, was organised by Yati Narasinghanand, the priest of Dasna temple in Ghaziabad, who is known for his hate-spewing remarks against Muslims.
During his speech in Haridwar, Narsinghanand targeted Muslims and urged Hindus to take up weapons against them. “Swords look good on stage only. This battle will be won by those with better weapons,” the spiteful Yati had said.
Another Hindutva representative from Bihar, Dharmadas Maharaj openly stated that he wished to kill the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for siding with the minorities, especially Muslims.
Anand Swaroop Maharaj, a Hindu leader and the president of Varanasi-based outfit Shankaracharya Parishad threatened a revolt of that of 1857 if the government does not listen to their demands of a Hindu Rashtra. He also threatened people, hotels, and restaurants in Haridwar not to celebrate Christmas or else face consequences.
Following the outrage, cases were booked against a few in connection with the hate speeches. Swami Dharamdas and Sadhvi Annapurna, along with Jitendra Narayan Singh Tyagi (Waseem Rizvi) were booked by the police.
First Information Reports (FIRs) have been lodged under Section 153A of the IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language).